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Install Exchange Server 2016 step by step with GUI

Install Exchange Server 2016 step by step with GUI on Windows Server 2016. Before you start installing Exchange Server 2016, make sure to install Exchange Server prerequisites first. You don’t have to prepare Active Directory and domains for Exchange Server, as the setup wizard will be doing it automatically. After that, you are ready to install Exchange Server.

Information before installing Exchange Server 2016

There are two options to install Exchange Server:

  1. Install Exchange Mailbox server using the setup wizard
  2. Install Exchange Mailbox server using unattended mode

The Exchange setup wizard will guide you to install Exchange Server with GUI. The Exchange unattended mode will install Exchange Server with the command line. In this article, you will install Exchange Server 2016 step by step with GUI.

Before starting with installing Exchange Server 2016 on Windows Server 2016, make sure that the following is configured:

*Open Active Directory and add both groups to your account if it’s not set already. These are high privilege groups. I recommend you to remove your account from the groups when you’re done with this task. Note, if you’ve just added yourself to these groups, you’ll need to log out and back into the server for the new group membership to take effect.

Important: After you install Exchange on a server, you must not change the server name. Renaming a server after you’ve installed an Exchange server role is not supported.

Download Exchange Server 2016

Go to the official page of Microsoft to get a list of the latest Exchange Server CU. The page will show you the Exchange Server build numbers and release dates. Scroll down for Exchange Server 2016. At the moment of writing, the latest version for Exchange Server 2016 is Exchange Server 2016 CU3. The release date is September 20, 2016. The build number is 15.1.544.27. Download and save the ISO image.

Install Exchange Server 2016

In File Explorer, right-click on the Exchange Server 2016 CU3 ISO image file and select Mount. It will mount the ISO to a drive.

Install Exchange Server 2016 Mount ISO

In our example, it mounted the Exchange ISO to the E:\ drive. The E:\ drive contains the Exchange installation files. Open the E:\drive and right-click Setup. Click Run as administrator.

Install Exchange Server 2016 Run setup as administrator

Check for updates

The installation of Exchange Server 2016 is starting, and the first screen that is presenting you is about checking for updates. It’s recommended to check for updates for security reasons. Select Connect to the Internet and check for updates and click Next.

Setup is downloading updates. In my example, the system is up to date, and there are no updates. Click Next.

Copying files

Setup is copying files to %winDir%\Temp\ExchangeSetup.

Install Exchange Server 2016 Copying Files

Initializing setup before it can continue to the next step.


The introduction screen is showing general information. Make sure that you have the Exchange Server prerequisites configured before proceeding. If you do proceed without configuring the Exchange Server 2016 prerequisites, it will fail and explain why it failed.

Install Exchange Server 2016 Introduction

License agreement

Read the license agreement, select I accept the terms in the license agreement, and click Next.

Install Exchange Server 2016 License Agreement

Choose Use recommended settings and click Next. These settings are mainly used to send error reports, information about your system hardware, and Exchange usage to Microsoft.

Install Exchange Server 2016 Recommended Settings

Server role selection

In the Server Role Selection screen, check the checkbox Mailbox role. When checking the checkbox, the setup will install the Management tools automatically.

Check the checkbox Automatically install Windows Server roles and features that are required to install Exchange Server. Find the required roles and features in the article Install Exchange Server prerequisites. Click Next.

Install Exchange Server 2016 Server Role Selection

Installation space and location

Change the Exchange location to your needs. In our example, we will install Exchange Server 2016 in the default location and click Next.

Install Exchange Server 2016 Installation Space and Location

Exchange organization

The Exchange Organization window will show if you are installing your first Exchange Server in the organization. Fill in the name and click Next.

You need to select a name for the Exchange organization. The organization’s name is used internally by Exchange. It isn’t typically seen by users and doesn’t affect the functionality of Exchange. Also, it doesn’t determine what you can use for email addresses. The organization name can’t contain more than 64 characters, and can’t be blank. Valid characters are A to Z, a to z, 0 to 9, hyphen or dash (-), and space, but leading or trailing spaces aren’t allowed. You can’t change the organization name after it’s set.

Install Exchange Server 2016 Exchange Organization

Malware protection settings

Keep Malware Protection enabled. The malware protection automatically scans messages for viruses and spyware. Click No and click Next.

Install Exchange Server 2016 Malware Protection Settings

Readiness checks

The system is being checked to verify if the setup can continue.

After the readiness checks are completed, a screen will show the warnings and errors. If you have errors, you can’t proceed further with installing Exchange Server 2016. Read them carefully and fix them. After that, rerun the setup.

In our example, we only have warnings and no errors. It shows that we don’t have an Exchange Server 2010 and Exchange Server 2013 in the organization. That’s correct, as we are installing our first Exchange Server 2016. The setup will prepare active directory and domains for Exchange Server. Click Install to start the Exchange Server 2016 installation.

Install Exchange Server 2016 Readiness Checks finished

Setup progress

Installation is starting, and the setup progress is showing.

Install Exchange Server 2016 Setup Progress

It can take some time before it finishes installing Exchange Server 2016.

Install Exchange Server 2016 Setup Progress running

Monitor setup progress

Start Task Manager and click the performance tab. You can monitor the CPU and Memory.

Install Exchange Server 2016 Task manager performance monitor

Check the Exchange setup logs if you like to know what the setup wizard is configuring in the back-end. Open File Explorer and navigate to C:\ExchangeSetupLogs. Sort on Date Modified.

Install Exchange Server 2016 Exchange Setup Logs.png

Setup completed

Click Finish after completing the installation of Exchange and restart the system.

Install Exchange Server 2016 Setup Completed

Sign in to Exchange Admin Center (EAC)

Sign in to Exchange Admin Center (EAC). In our example, the Exchange Server hostname is EX01-2016. Open your favorite browser and go to https://hostname/ecp. Change the hostname to yours.

You will get a certificate warning in your browser. Accept the risk and continue.

Fill in the domain and administrator credentials. Click the sign in button.

Install Exchange Server 2016 Exchange Admin Center

The mailboxes area is almost empty, except one mailbox is showing. That’s the account that we used for installing Exchange Server 2016.

Install Exchange Server 2016 Exchange Admin Center logged in

Did this article help you to install Exchange Server 2016 on Windows Server 2016 with GUI?

The next step is to configure Exchange Server »


In this article, you learned how to install Exchange Server 2016 step by step on Windows Server 2016. We did install the Mailbox Server Role with the GUI. It’s good to monitor the CPU and Memory when installing Exchange Server.

Did you enjoy this article? If so, you may like the article Exchange database best practices. Don’t forget to follow us and share this article.



ALI TAJRAN is a passionate IT Architect, IT Consultant, and Microsoft Certified Trainer. He started Information Technology at a very young age, and his goal is to teach and inspire others. Read more »

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